Date: Thu, 31 Oct 1996 14:01:19 -0600
From: L-Soft list server at MIZZOU1 (1.8b) <>

> S * IN ACTIV-L --> Database ACTIV-L, 10813 hits.
> print 10723
>>> Item number 10723, dated 96/10/30 11:21:41—ALL
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 1996 11:21:41 CST
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU>
From: NY Transfer News Collective <>
Subject: Canadian Auto Workers Strike

GM strikers occupy plant, save jobs with contract settlement

By Shelley Ettinger, Workers World, 31 October 1996

In the second week of the Canadian Auto Workers' walkout at General Motors:

Week three


As workers in Dayton, Ohio, did last March, Canadian auto workers have humbled the mightiest corporation in the world. They have shown that the strike weapon is still a potent force.

That's why GM's top corporate officer, Chief Executive Jack Smith--who usually stays above the fray, at least officially-- had to fly to Toronto Oct. 16 to meet with Hargrove.

The Oshawa takeover, especially, forced Smith to act. Hargrove told union members at the special dues session Oct. 18, Mr. Smith was taken aback by this issue.

According to various reports, Smith insisted the sit-in end. The CAW refused unless GM agreed to accept key contract provisions limiting its right to cut jobs through outsourcing.

As of Oct. 22, the union had apparently won that demand.

Details are not available. It's unclear whether GM agreed to the same language as Chrysler, acknowledging the principle of the employees' work ownership. But the union apparently won its key demand, saving some 1,800 jobs GM had slated to cut through outsourcing.

Other items remained on the table, however. When Smith arrived in Canada, Hargrove set a deadline of noon, Oct. 21, to reach an overall agreement.

That deadline came and went with no pact. Negotiators adjourned late that night, and resumed talks the morning of Oct. 22. The central remaining sticking points revolved around the Oshawa and Windsor plants, which GM wants to sell.

That afternoon, a tentative agreement was announced. GM can sell the plants, according to reports, but wages and benefits there must stay at the current levels for at least three years.

In addition, the union won its demand that GM end mandatory overtime at Oshawa. And, in a major anti- discrimination victory, gay and lesbian GM employees will get health benefits for their lovers.